Home & Contents Insurance Tips and Traps

Whether you’ve built it from scratch or picked it up at an auction, our home is the most expensive thing we own. So the last thing you want is to find out you’ve forgotten to add or misjudged something on your home and contents insurance policy, like underinsurance.  

That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to make sure you’re understand all the ins and outs of home insurance, so you’re not left out of pocket. Check it out.

Home insurance tips to remember

  • Read through your policy product disclosure statement (PDS) with care. It will take hours out of your life you’ll never get back, but it’s well worth it to understand exactly what you're covered for and what's excluded from your policy.
  • Regularly reassess your level of cover. Make sure this takes into account any changes you have made to your property, like renovations or pool installations. 
  • Avoid automatically renewing your policy. Get a few quotes (including one from your current insurance provider) and ask them to match the deal they offer for new customers, or find a better offer and make the switch. 
  • Check what may not be covered by your home insurance. And then check for optional extras – sometimes you can get extra cover for an additional amount.
  • Keep good records. You can do this by taking photos and compiling an inventory of your home’s contents and store it somewhere safe, so you can give them to an insurance assessor if you ever have to make a claim. 
  • Think twice before you make a claim. Insurance claims, big or small, all affect your future insurance quotes as it increases your risk profile.

Home insurance traps to watch out for

  • Many insurance providers won't cover events which occur if your home is unoccupied for more than 60 days. Be sure to tell your provider if your home will be left unoccupied for an extended time and figure out an agreed solution. 
  • Not all contents insurance providers cover you when you’re moving house. Some will, but only in certain situations, for example, if they’re damaged in a car accident.
  • Contents that's kept outdoors may not be covered to the same level as indoors items. 
  • Watch out for water damage. This is a really problematic area of fine print for home and contents insurance. Premiums are very expensive for flood-prone areas as insurance providers often know more than you do about the risks to your intended home. Check with the local council to see if flood maps are available. Leaky roofs are a common cause for claims-denial, so make sure your property is properly maintained.
  • Home insurance policies won’t always cover business activities and assets. If you work from home or store work-related equipment or inventory at home, you may need a separate business insurance policy.
  • Underinsurance can hit your wallet hard. This is the industry term used to describe when your home isn't insured for its full value. For example, if it would cost $500,000 to rebuild your house, but you've only insured it for $400,000, or 80% of its value, then the insurance company can apply averaging to any partial claim. This means if your $10,000 shed burns down, your claim will be 'averaged' at 80%, and your payout will only be $8,000 – leaving you to pay the rest of the cost of rebuilding it.

Ready to find the policy that’s right for your home? Check out our home insurance comparison page to see what’s on offer.

Home Insurance Comparison Table - rates updated daily

Search promoted home insurance below. Advertiser disclosure. Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Get award-winning Home and Contents Insurance at a price you can afford from Budget Direct. Save a huge 30% ^ on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new combined Home and Contents Insurance policy online.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    Optional ExtraUp To 25% Of Building Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
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  • Everyday Comprehensive Home and Contents Insurance

    Huddle Everyday Home & Contents Insurance, up to 20% off Home & Contents Insurance (T&Cs apply). Increase your basic excess to suit your budget and reduce your premium. Lodge claims easily 24/7, and in some cases you'll get a decision within minutes.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
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    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details
  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Making sure your home insurance is about where you’re at right now could save you lots. Start a quote with Youi today and see what you could save.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details
  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Virgin Money Home & Contents Insurance, winner of the Exceptional Value Home & Contents Insurance award in 2020.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    Optional ExtraUp To 25% Of Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details

*Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

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